EMPOWER STEM Program Creates Student Pathways To Jobs In National Labs
Ratcliff and a team of engineering researchers have created a unique program at the university that builds a bridge between students and government research jobs. Funded by $748,000 from the Office of Naval Research, the EMPOWER STEM program aims to provide a route to government research jobs, particularly for students from diverse backgrounds. Ultimately, Dr. Ratcliff wants any UArizona student who might be interested in a DOD career to have the opportunity to participate, but the team is concentrating first on student veterans, who have prior experience with the Department of Defense. In a September 2020 survey of UArizona veteran undergraduates, 64% indicated an interest in working for the DOD in civilian careers, and over 50% indicated an interest in DOD science positions.